The 2016 Election: A view from The People’s Republic of Johnson County

A resident offers a view of the 2016 election from the “People’s Republic of Johnson County.” -promoted by desmoinesdem

If Johnson County, Iowa were its own state or country, Hillary Clinton would be president today and Patty Judge one of our two senators, Bruce Braley being the other. Using public data from the Johnson County Auditor webpage, turnout for the 2016 presidential election was 77,476 votes, which is 84 percent of registered voters. Secretary Clinton pulled in 65 percent of the vote and Judge 57 percent in her bid to become US Senator. In the presidential race, Donald Trump received 27 percent of the vote, Gary Johnson 4 percent, and write-ins were higher than any other candidate at 1.2 percent.

John Deeth notes in his blog that Johnson County, Iowa tops the next best performing county for Clinton by 14 percent, and in the recent past was the only wins for Jack Hatch and Roxanne Conlin. Johnson was the only county to not favor Terry Branstad in his 2014 reelection. If more of the nation had voted like Johnson County, things would have looked more like what nearly every news source was predicting. The figure of 84 percent is remarkable for a turnout and press coverage reflected this, but I will return to this in a moment.

Continue Reading...

Iowa results certified: Clinton carried early vote, Trump crushed election day

The scale of Iowa’s unexpectedly large swing toward Donald Trump has been clear for nearly a month. But until today, we didn’t know how much early and election-day voters contributed to transforming Iowa from a bellwether state to one that voted much more Republican than the rest of the country, from a state the Democratic presidential nominee carried by nearly 6 points in 2012 to a state the Republican nominee won by more than 9 points four years later.

According to numbers released following the official state canvass, Hillary Clinton went into election day with a cushion less than half as large as Barack Obama’s early vote lead in 2012. Meanwhile, Trump’s advantage among election-day voters was more than four times as large as Mitt Romney’s.

Continue Reading...

Record-breaking showing gives Libertarians political party status in Iowa

Unofficial results from Tuesday’s election show Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson received 58,796 votes in Iowa, about 3.8 percent of ballots cast.

Before this year, the most successful Libertarian ticket in Iowa gained 1 percent of the vote, way back in 1980. Although Johnson wasn’t able to maintain his much higher polling numbers from the late summer, he more than quadrupled his 2012 raw vote total and share of the vote here.

The result gives the Libertarian Party full “political party status” in Iowa. What does that mean in practical terms?

Continue Reading...

Weekend open thread: Final Iowa polls and last-minute GOTV edition

No need to ask what’s on your mind this weekend, Bleeding Heartland readers. Three days from now, this election will be over except for the recounts. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have released their closing arguments to television viewers. Clinton’s 60-second ad “Roar” is a lot more upbeat than Trump’s two-minute “Argument for America.” UPDATED to add: the Trump commercial pushes some anti-Semitic buttons.

Nearly 600,000 Iowans have already voted. I enclose below the latest absentee ballot figures, as of today and at the same point in the 2012 campaign. The Democratic lead in ballots received by county auditors stands at 41,881. On the Saturday before election day 2012, Democrats had banked 65,099 more votes than Republicans.

The Des Moines Register released toplines from Selzer & Co’s final Iowa poll of the year a few minutes ago. It’s not good news for Democrats: Trump leads Clinton by 46 percent to 39 percent, with 6 percent supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson and 1 percent the Green Party’s Jill Stein. Last month’s Selzer poll showed Trump 4 points ahead.

The latest surveys from Simpson College/RABA Research and Emerson College both showed Trump leading Clinton by 44 percent to 41 percent in a field including multiple candidates.

Loras College in Dubuque released its final Iowa poll earlier today: Clinton 44 percent, Trump 43 percent, Johnson and Stein 3 percent each, and 7 percent undecided. Loras found a 10-point advantage for Trump (47-37) among respondents who said they had not yet voted. Clinton’s net favorability (-8) was substantially better than Trump’s (-36). I enclose below excerpts from the Loras polling memo and Jason Noble’s write-up of the Selzer poll in the Des Moines Register. I’ll update later with more details as the Register publishes further results.

Lots of pundits have written off Iowa already, given the demographics that favor Trump (a mostly white population, older than in other swing states and with a relatively small proportion of college graduates). Clinton’s campaign is working GOTV hard. A field office near you could use your help these last few days. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers on the phone or at the doorstep, you can bring food to campaign staff and volunteers, or offer to be a poll watcher on election day.

I can’t remember more perfect weather for canvassing the weekend before a general election. For those planning to hit the doors tomorrow, Monday, or Tuesday, here are my best tips and pointers from superstar volunteer Laura Hubka, the Howard County Democratic Party chair.

Some GOTV “scripts” are geared toward voters already identified as supporters of Democratic candidates. These people don’t need persuading. Volunteers will remind them of their polling place location and opening times and will ask for their plan to vote. Research has shown that when people articulate their plan (for instance, before work or after dropping the kids off at school), they are more likely to follow through and cast a ballot. Clinton’s campaign has an online tool for voters and hilarious YouTube video of Joe Biden (enclosed below) on why making a plan “is like the whole secret of life.”

All 99 county auditors’ offices will be open for early voting in person on Monday, November 7, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Important reminders for absentee voters who have not yet mailed back their ballots: late-arriving absentee ballots must be postmarked by November 7 in order to be counted. Post offices no longer routinely attach postmarks, so either 1) take your ballot to a post office on Monday and request a postmark, 2) hand-deliver your ballot to your county auditor’s office by 9 pm on November 8, or 3) ask a campaign volunteer to pick up your completed ballot so it can be hand-delivered on time.

Make sure to follow instructions carefully: fill in ovals completely, seal the marked ballot in the secrecy envelope, seal that envelope inside the affidavit envelope, and sign and seal the affidavit envelope.

If you’ve changed your mind about voting absentee, bring your unmarked ballot to your regular polling place on November 8, so you can “surrender” it and receive a regular ballot. If you don’t have your absentee ballot with you, poll workers will make you fill out a provisional ballot instead.

Final note: political junkies can enter Bleeding Heartland’s Iowa election prediction contest by posting a comment in this thread before 7 am on November 8.

Continue Reading...

Two polls show small Trump lead in Iowa

Donald Trump is slightly ahead of Hillary Clinton among likely voters in Iowa, according to two polls that were in the field this week. The latest Simpson College/RABA Research poll shows Trump beating Clinton by 44 percent to 41 percent in a five-way race, with 5 percent of respondents supporting Libertarian Gary Johnson, 2 percent each for the Green Party’s Jill Stein and independent Evan McMullin, and 6 percent unsure. Head to head, Trump leads Clinton by 46 percent to 44 percent.

Today Emerson College released Iowa numbers showing Trump ahead in a four-way race by 44 percent to 41 percent, with 5 percent for Johnson, 4 percent for Stein and 5 percent undecided. Emerson does not appear to have polled a two-way race.

Strangely, neither survey shows a large difference between men’s and women’s voting preferences in Iowa, despite data (and common sense) indicating that this year’s presidential race is shaping up to have the largest gender gap in history. RABA Research found men break for Trump 46-37 in a five-way race and 50-40 head to head, while women support Clinton 44-42 in a larger field and 47-43 against Trump alone. Emerson College’s results: a 45-41 advantage for Trump among men and a 44-42 lead for Clinton among women. I find those numbers very difficult to believe.

I enclose below more findings and notes on methodology from the new polls. Most disturbing, from Simpson College/RABA Research: only 66 percent of respondents said “Americans are ready for a woman to be president.” Some 20 percent said Americans are not ready, the rest were unsure. The cross-tabs show 37 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Iowans over age 65, and 26 percent of those without a college degree say the country isn’t ready for a woman president.

Don’t forget to enter Bleeding Heartland’s election prediction contest.

At least a third of Iowans who will vote this year have already returned their ballots. Click here for tables showing the latest early vote totals. Iowa Democrats will go into election day with a significant absentee ballot lead, but smaller than the cushion Barack Obama had in 2012.

Continue Reading...
View More...